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Sketch Pad of Dad

The Zinny twins loved to paint and to draw

…and everything they saw.

They always loved their Dad very much.

But they didn’t know where Dad went…or when he was coming back.

They were very sad, and sometimes cried.

But one  day a Zinny sister jumped out of bed.

She took out her new sketchpad.. and said, “Let’s go find Dad!”

Twisting and spinning into the sketchpad.

The Zinny twins drew exactly what they said.

3, 2, 1, blast off!

We’re  on the moon.

Speeding and turning all around, they saw a flaming light…

… was it an Flaming-amazing- incredible car?

Beep…Beep…Honk…Honk…

Dad popped open a door.

“Come on! Let’s go for a ride!” said Dad.

Weeee… Down, down into the deep blue sea!

They raced dolphins and shinny fish.

By an old ship…they found a key to box of buried treasure.

Up to a crystal castle,

they solved a riddle from Queen Frazzle Dazzle.

At the sandy beach,

Dad made the tallest sand castle!

Dashing into the sky…

They went to Mars,

“Let’s go fishing for stars!”

Dad caught two stars.

Floating and gliding back to home.

They placed dad in his favorite chair.

“Let’s sit on his lap,” they said.

“Happy Birthday, Dad.”

“We missed you too much.”

 

My dad could be gone or just away for a while. No matter, Dad has a special place in our heart. When I miss my dad, I fold my hands and pray. Jesus help me as I miss Dad.

Matthew 5:4 helps me know that as I am sad, Jesus will comfort me.

 

Does he hold the key to your heart?

“So, how’s that guy?” my grandmother asked with a grin.

I loved to call my grandmother and tell her about the fun dates I had with Jason.

After her major stroke, she became even more dear to me. One day, in her wheel chair, she held out her feeble hand to me and slowly waved one finger in the air.

“Does he hold the key to you heart?” she asked.

I was tongue-tied.

“I think he does. But what matters is… Do you think he does?” she asked.

While I nodded, I really thought about her question. It implied that my heart had a door and it required something.  Looking into the eyes of my sweet grandma who had been married almost 50 years, I  was shaken to my core of what I believed in about love. She wasn’t just asking if I was in love with Jason. She knew that. Instead she was asking me if Jason’s love for me meant the deepest longings of my heart.

After some thought, here’s what I determined my heart required:

1. Patience.  The relationship moves at a pace I feel comfortable with. And I am not pushed into anything that is outside of God’s commandments. I was once with an impatient boyfriend and we broke but because I wasn’t willing. I’m glad I did. My life verse for this situation is, “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.” Psalms 127:1 (NIV)

2. Honesty. Knowing you can be real.  That we both can be open about our struggles, temptations and fears. And even past relationship failures. Proverbs 12:19 “Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.” (NIV) and 1 Corinthians 13:6 “Love  does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”

3. “No-one else-kind-of”Love. It may be a generic word for a romantic situation. But the word “love” these days gets tossed around like a side salad.  Love for me is the kind where you know you could never live without him. The only kind of love you feel for him and no one else. It’s knowing that you long to commit to him for life.  In this kind of love I honor my relationship. I think Proverbs 19:22 (ESV) sums it up: “What is desired in a man is steadfast love.”

4. Cherished.  I know that he doesn’t just love me for your physical appearance or special talents/gifts. He loves all of me.  I am accepted for who I am. And he isn’t trying to change me for his benefit, but he’s cherishing me, the way God would. The purpose of how we cherish each other and chose to live our lives together is summarized in Ecclesiastes 4:12, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves, a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (NIV)

My precious grandma was right to ask. We all should. Even if we aren’t dating yet.  Because it’s better to know the standards of your heart now, than later.

The day we buried my grandmother, I laid one rose on her grave and whispered, “Jason held the key to my heart. I will always love you.”

 

 

Beautiful Who?

And I was like, “Who?”

When someone said, “She’s got beautiful eyes.”

I’ve even had complete strangers walk up to me and tell me that my eyes are beautiful.

Sadly, I wasn’t able to own the compliment. Kinda like when you’re trying out a new outfit, they say you should “own it.” Well, I’ve been trying out this same face, body and hair for a little while now, and I’m still not “owning” it.

So I took a cruise through the bible to see if there were any suggestions on how to “own” it.

Did you know there are 148 references to the word beautiful in the bible (NLT)? Including a reference to a beautiful heifer. WOW! Of course, there had to be a reference to a cow.

Which makes me wonder just how I’ve come to define myself in terms of beautiful.

Is it based on Photoshoped TV ad models? Or some ideal girl that has everything I don’t?

It’s not too uncommon to hear other girls say… “I’m too fat. I’m too thin.” Or “I wish I had her eyes…her hair… her lips… or even her rear-end!”

Can you imagine what it would look if we got to pick and choose the body parts that we wanted? It would look kinda weird. And while we all wish we had it, the truth of the matter is we all do.

As a child of God, I was created by an infinite being who has a purpose for my life. He made everything unique on me for reason. My hair has the right amount of hairs, thickness and texture the way He chose it to be. That can be said for my shape, eyes, skin, everything.

So, it’s okay that I don’t own it because HE does. When the compliments come, I toss them back up to Jesus and thank HIM for how HE made me. And if my eyes sparkle a bit, I sure hope that’s Jesus shining through!

eyes

“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.” (Psalms 139:14) NLT.

The Day the Willows Stopped Weeping

I am not sure of the exact date, but I am remember it was a crisp cool day in the autumn. And I quite remember their light droopy branches gliding through my bangs, kind of like the soapy drapes that flop around in a car wash. I lay on the crunchy grass and admired how their willows pooled on the ground.

I wondered why are they called weeping willows. If anyone should be weeping, it should be me. I had, after all, written my 95th journal entry about Simon, only to see him holding hands with his new girlfriend. My Simon, how could he not know how I felt? We were supposed to be holding hands. Not her, whoever she was.

A few tears welled up in my eyes as I thought, “Why are you weeping willow trees?”

Only before I could say it, that question was asked of me.

The weeping willow tree leaned slightly to the left and said, “Why do you weep, Budding Flower?”

I was surprised, yet relieved to have someone to talk with, even if it was a tree.

“Because no one loves me,” I said as my lips puckered, holding back the waterworks of tears.

Diverting the tree from my love problem, I asked it, “Why do you weep, Willows?”

“I weep for you, Budding Flower,” It said.

“For me?” I said.

“You weep because no one loves you. I weep because I love you,” It said.

“How long will you keep weeping for someone like me?” I asked, as I curled up at the base of its trunk, laying my head on its bark.

“The day my willows stop weeping, is when you weep no more,” It said.

My eyes gushed with tears.

“I can’t imagine a day when I will ever stop weeping. I practically sob over the littlest things.”

“Me too,” It said as I felt it’s willows rise off the ground to smile.

“My willows pool at your feet weeping for the loveliness in your budding heart,” It said.

I felt a cool breeze blow by drying my eyes.

Then, I made probably the easiest promise I could ever make with a tree.

I promised the Willows, I’d never stop weeping, and It promised too.

 

Writer’s Interpretation

In our sadness, disappointments, and missed opportunities, let’s face it… we SOB! This world is full of the gushers, those of us who cry. And the stuffers, those of us who stuff feelings and don’t cry.  I am a gusher, and I’m here to say: “It’s okay.”  While we don’t have a talking willow tree to tell us, we have Jesus Christ to love us and cry with us. One of the shortest passages in the bible says, “Jesus wept.”  So, if he did, we sure can.  Psalms 55:22 reads, “Cast your cares on the Lord, and he will sustain you.” (NIV) I would add, even the littlest cares, like the Simons. Be encouraged.

Should I? Part 1

It was the perfect spring night, and by all intentions it was the last I would ever see of that dismal castle on the beach.

[Insert my puffy lip sigh here] The Argos family – known for being the largest kingdom in our alliance threw lavish 8 course dinner parties with dancing, the whole bit. They had – probably the largest cold grey stone castle, I’d ever seen – 500 rooms, at least. And of course, it was located on Serenity Sea.

As with all their parties my attendance was 100% pure obligation! Mother and father insisted I go as I was “blooming into womanhood” – is how they put it.  And since our kingdom was one of their smaller ones in the alliance and I hadn’t received any betrothals or proposals, they felt it was best I go and “make the most of it.” Meanwhile, they were conveniently on holiday travels.

As I walked in the entry way, I followed the hoards of  guest that always gawked at the grand staircase weaving in spirals to the grand hall. The walls were decorated of old sea ship captain portraits and nautical memorabilia. Ah, the Argos – famed sea captains – except for the father – he passed away last year. Now, the two supposedly gorgeous Argos princes  were competing to rule their castle.  Argos, do keep their kingdom matters pretty private. But everyone assumes the prince who finds a queen first – wins.   As for me… why be around strange people just to get to know them? Stuck up, want-to-bes, is what they all were.  I was not about to dance with princes I’d never met, with sweaty hands and sometimes bad breadth. As the guests began dancing in the grand hall, I scurried past and peaked around long taupe curtains waving in the sea breeze. Perfect! No one was on the balcony – a large extension of old shag orange carpet, iron railing, a 4 chair metal dinning table and a perfect view of the sea.

It was my fav — the sea extended for miles and the evening sunset created dancing sparkles. I could feel the waves crashing. I took a deep breath – letting them renew me. I plopped in the puffy blue lounge chair and kicked off my purple blingy flip flops. After all, who needs formal shoes?  I had more important plans!

Opening my drawing journal that I had snuck in my purse, I began putting the final touches on my garden drawing. Not just any garden, but with fountains, fairies, and plants not of the world, giving it intrigue.

Over the past year during my party “visits” I was an artist uncover – slowly drawing a crazy garden. Me, the architect – [insert freakish laughter here]  placed the garden to the right of their castle – with almost “a- for-real” looking design.  I sketched large roman letters, “Where Love Ends” as a joke. Since the castle was where all loved seemed to end.

As the slow dance music and the sea lulled me to sleep, I drifted into my garden dreams. And it was perfectly acceptable since their butler Par would wake me in the morning and request a carriage to take me home.

The next morning I heard clanking dishes. “Par, it’s much too early. It’s still dark,” I said, curling to one side of the chair. I felt a silk blanket fall on me. Par was never that thoughtful, but it was really nice.

Next thing I remember – the clanking dishes again and an annoying bright sun. I opened my eyes and saw a young man in a black suit at the dinning table, intently reading. He sat on the edge of the chair, like he could jump at any moment.

“What are you doing here?” I asked.

“I was wondering the same,” he said, quickly swigging a few sips from a juice glass.

“Where is Par? I must see Par,” I said.

“You know Par?” he asked.

“Yes, we have a deal. I go home before the family awakes, and he tells no one,” I said clinching the blanket.

“Don’t worry. Your secret is safe with me.” He chuckled.

To be continued….